Chingozhoro qualifies for World Champs

HARARE - Zimbabwe heavyweight karateka Admire Chingozhoro booked a place for the World Championships scheduled for Japan in October after scooping a silver medal at a tournament held in Shizouka City on Sunday.

The Zimbabwe Karate Union (ZKU) delegation in Japan was made up of four fighters with Sensei Samson Muripo finishing in sixth place while Kelly Mtisi and Shadreck Chigombe outside the top eight podium finish.

The team is expected home at noon today.

Chingozhoro’s dominance in Asia continues as barely last August, the fighter from Harare’s high density suburb of Glen View registered his maiden international gold medal after winning the second Sokyokushin Ohishi Cup in Iran.

“It feels good to win an international tournament away from home. I’m grateful for the support I’m getting from the association and my fellow fighters at large,” Chingozhoro told the Daily News from Japan yesterday.

“It is my wish that I will continue representing the country with pride as we look ahead to the World Championships in October.”

The local Goliath had a bye in the first round but sailed through to the last 16 after making light work of Akihiro Suzuki which was enough to take him to the semi-finals. His quarter-finals opponent Masao Kusakabe failed to turn-up for the bout after succumbing to serious injuries in his last fight. Chingozhoro went on to beat Naoto Kusakabe in the semi-finals before losing to Naoya Kusakabe in the final.

Muripo, an inspirational figure in the local karate circles, bemoaned the lack of resources in karate which forced ZKU to leave out a number of fighters for the trip.

“My heart bleeds for Kyokushin karate; given full support from government and the corporate world, we would want to field more fighters in the upcoming 1st So-Kyokushin World Karate tournament in October,” Muripo said.

“Zimbabwe if full of potential world champions and I would like to see our flag flying so high each time duty calls and at the end of my life journey I will smile in my grave beyond the curtains of time having done all I could for my motherland.”

Muripo had a bye in the first round and in the second round he fought and beat Hogetsu Atsuki from Japan, proceeding to the last 16.

In the third round Muripo, fought with Takeo Hashimoto from Japan whom he beat to qualify for the last eight before losing to Iranian Shahram Shirvani in the quarter-finals.

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